Tuesday, 4 March 2014

ANIME REVIEW: THE WIND RISES




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In pre-war Japan young boy Jiro Horikoshi dreamed of building planes since he was a child. Determined to turn his dream into reality he tries his best. There will be losses, there will be wins. And there will be one true love that will carry him forward like the wind.

THE WIND RISES is a new film from great Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki, and, as announced, his final one. For this final song the great master chose a controversial protagonist, a real historical figure Jiro Horikoshi, a plane designer who’s creations had taken many lives during the second world war.

Frame by frame Myazaki re-creates the “innocent” Japan, still unhurt by the horrors of conflict. Structured as biopic the movie is far from it, with the personal details from Jiro’s life being a work of fiction. The engineering side of the story however follows the real path of the creation of the prototype plane for model ZERO - the deadliest plane that came out of Japan.

The theme of flying and sense of heights is common for Myazaki’s films. From the opening scene the movie manages to reflect the sense of flying. Flying for Jiro means reaching for something great, and planes are beautiful but dangerous dreams that one only aspire for.

The animation is stunning, with so much detail that the viewers will turn their head to check out what happens in every corner of the screen. The soundtrack from the usual Myazaki’s composer Joe Hisaishi is a little repetitive, but fits perfectly the light pace of the film, with Italian motifs and sentimental tones that reflect the semi light hearted approach to the serious matters.


THE WIND RISES was met with huge criticism in Japan, but is probably a great example of what great artist (or engineer) can get away with after reaching certain level of perfection. It simply makes a statement that one’s beautiful dream can turn ugly in the eyes of others.  And still, just like this film, it doesn’t make it less perfect.

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